poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

‘I Know’

‘Do you need a ride home?’

‘Yes, I just arrived.’

‘Where will you be staying?’

‘Wherever they will have me and speak the truth.’

‘Have you heard of television?’

‘I have read The Little Box poems by Vasko Popa.’

‘Those are two different things.’

‘I know.’

Medieval Gamblers

Medieval Gamblers by Steven McCabe

I listened earlier to Bob Dylan singing ‘As I Went Out One Morning’ and put up a blog post about the revolutionary Tom Paine and the lyrics to the song (on Dylan’s 1968 John Wesley Harding album) and a photo of Bob receiving the 1963 Thomas Paine award (& how he went on a rant against the respectable liberal audience) & so it goes. In the end I decided to simply show this B&W art (Medieval Gamblers) created in Photoshop today via digital collage & possibly using elements of ink drawings. I could feel the atmosphere of the medieval inn, and textures like wood and burlap, and the mood of danger lurking. There seems to also be danger lurking here & now so it’s not so difficult to intuit. As for gambling I’ve never allowed others to gamble with me. At least I’ve tried & so it goes.

As I went out one morning
To breathe the air around Tom Paine’s
I spied the fairest damsel
That ever did walk in chains
I offer’d her my hand
She took me by the arm
I knew that very instant
She meant to do me harm

“Depart from me this moment”
I told her with my voice
Said she, “But I don’t wish to”
Said I, “But you have no choice”
“I beg you, sir,” she pleaded
From the corners of her mouth
“I will secretly accept you
And together we’ll fly south”

Just then Tom Paine, himself
Came running from across the field
Shouting at this lovely girl
And commanding her to yield
And as she was letting go her grip
Up Tom Paine did run,
“I’m sorry, sir,” he said to me
“I’m sorry for what she’s done”

– Bob Dylan, 1968

Running Backwards

Running backwards on a night when all is lost.

When you cannot remember what is lost.

When you see the night-sky running backwards.

It could have been

this is…synchronicity

This is a painted mask.

This is also a painted mask.

This is a complimentary cookie in a wax paper bag stapled to a brown paper bag.

I posted a few days ago about the cow in the time machine

a few minutes later

I sat outside a cafe on a bench waiting for take-out food.

I read about a cow in the book I grabbed on the way out

then again on the previous page

then I looked to see the title of the chapter.

This is…synchronicity.

Time Machine

I told them I was no expert but they signed the contract anyway.

The flight to the cave in the mountains was so long it included five meals.

When it came time to adjust the settings they told me I would be the operator.

They asked me over the intercom what I saw.

I said, ‘A cow.’

They said, A bull belonging to Genghis Khan?

A bull breathing fire?

A bull pulling a chariot across the sky?

I said, ‘A cow in a barn

watching Sonny and Cher sing The Beat Goes On.’

They said, ‘Adjust the settings.’

I did. They said, ‘Where are you?’

I said, ‘I see Rasputin.’

They said, ‘What is he doing?’

I said, ‘Building a time machine.’

In Neon Mystery, in Singularity, the Flowers Explode

Last night I walked home at eleven. Dark and cool. The streets and cafes were busy – lots of children.

Turning left, then right, I skirted the park. On my street I was startled by a sudden voice behind a large bush. A woman was photographing earwigs (feeding?) in the centres of daisies.

I’m taking care of two cats and one decided to make noise at 4:45 am to let me know she expected to be fed. I lay there trying to sleep and heard the phrase ‘in singularity the flowers explode.’ I thought it needed something so added ‘in neon mystery.’

page 73

I was a dishwasher at the Executive Motor Hotel on King Street. The waitress with early 1960s-style hair, who was, maybe, 28, said, ‘If you want to come over after your shift I live nearby.’ Maggie May by Rod Stewart was playing on the radio. Seriously it was. At the time I was reading the writings of Antonin Artaud – founder of the Theatre of Cruelty. He claimed to own a walking stick stained with drops of the blood of Jesus Christ. I was trying to connect dots on a map that didn’t exist. I partook of the green, brown, and black herb. I partook of the artificial chariots. She was, maybe, 28.

from my book Meme-Noir (2019)

here

*

the key to here

pulled on a string slowly away

*

I didn’t even notice

*

image originally from the book Ethiopian Magic Scrolls – manipulated in Photoshop

A Sailor in Hamburg (1&2)

The quiet sailor watches the Beatles play in the Kaiserkeller bar in 1960.

He listens to a song in time out of sync

composed for the Abbey Road album

in 1969.

A song born for the future –

silently asleep

in the silence of crystal stars.

He listens above the open sea

climbing a ladder made of coal

rising from the depths –

dreaming itself

into a structure

aimed into the obsidian sky.